Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Productivity and Costs
After surging 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter, nonfarm business sector productivity increased at an annualized pace of 3.6 percent in the first quarter. On a year-over-year basis, productivity is up 6.3 percent, its highest growth rate since 1962:Q1. The first quarter’s productivity gain came as real output jumped up 4.4 percent, while hours worked rose for the second consecutive quarter, up 0.8 percent. Nominal compensation per hour increased 1.9 percent in the first quarter, though after adjusting for price effects, “real” compensation ticked up just 0.4 percent. Still, over the past year compensation is down 0.1 percent. As gains in output have outpaced compensation growth, unit labor costs have continued to decline, slipping down 1.6 percent in the first quarter, though this is somewhat of an improvement in the series given the growth rate over the second half of 2009 was −6.6 percent. On a year-over-year basis, unit labor costs are down 3.7 percent.